Needful Steps

Many of us have read the Bible story of the impotent man lying by the pool of Bethesda, "waiting for the moving of the water," and have, no doubt, felt a yearning sympathy for his disappointed cry, "While I am coming, another steppeth down before me." Thirty-eight years of helplessness, hopelessness, with no apparent goal of freedom! But even while he lay there, perhaps in despair, a strange, new, awakening power was being felt in and around Jerusalem. The sick were being healed; sinners were turning from their evil practices; and even the dead were being raised by this vital, spiritual force.

Rumors of the works of one who was vested with such authority and power may have penetrated to the region about the pool of Bethesda, and may have awakened a degree of expectancy unusual in the minds of the more or less apathetic multitude. Be that as it may, when Christ Jesus asked the searching question, "Wilt thou be made whole?" the impotent man replied, "Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me."

He may have hoped that Jesus would perform this service for him. But how quickly the Master brushed aside the impotent man's sense of material faith and personal dependence, by showing three things that he himself could do,—yes, must do,—if he would be healed. "Rise," said Jesus; and the man immediately obeyed. "Take up thy bed," the Master said; and as the man did so the evidence of his long infirmity vanished; and then came the third command, "Walk"! And the Bible record shows that this demand also met with instant obedience.

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Church Building
December 14, 1929

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